Cyber attacks can cost corporate companies huge amounts of money and damage their reputation irreparably. This can lead to small- and medium-sized businesses thinking that it is only the big businesses that are attacked, and not them.

However data indicates that small businesses are the victim of online security breaches in more than 75% of cases. Further data showed that 60% of the small and medium businesses that were hacked went bust within half a year.

Thankfully, it is fairly easy and cost-effective for companies to enhance their security protocols throughout their businesses. Protective measures can add a layer of security during times of turbulence and economic downturns when there is a high churn of both employees and customers. 

Here are 8 things a business can do to become more secure online.

Data backups 

Employing a corporate data backup process is incredibly important for a business to add an extra layer of security and protection. The loss of data can be critical for a business, as hackers, malware, and ransomware all wreak havoc on businesses around the globe. It has been reported that 94% of small businesses are using cloud-based storage today.

Whilst anti-virus and online protection tools can protect to an extent, it still happens where data is breached or exposed, and in some cases destroyed. This can leave a business on the verge of busting without a backup in place. Having a backup of the most important data sets is crucial because it can help you rebuild after an attack. Whether it is backups based on networks, in the cloud, or a mixture, it can be a difference for the business. 

Invest in online protection

When you put an online protection method in place via software, you should look at employing an antivirus, a firewall, a VPN, and a residential IP to protect yourself against nefarious online attackers. Even just a single attack can do a huge amount of damage both reputationally and financially. 

A firewall can protect several computers against any incoming attacks whilst it monitors incoming and outcoming activity. A VPN can give remote employees safe and secure access to a remote server and important business data without giving a leak to hackers. A residential IP can is the connection from ISP to location, so a proxy residential IP can protect businesses against online bots. 

Use strong passwords

Most online businesses might ignore this one, thinking it is too simple. Having a strong selection of passwords is a very simple and easy way to protect your business online. Making sure your password has more than 14 characters and uses a strong mixture of characters, cases, numbers, and symbols is important for a good password. 

You should also ensure that in this setup, passwords are changed regularly so it’s harder for hackers to get into your system. 

Update your hardware and software

Another crucial step that is simple to implement is making sure your hardware and software are all up-to-date. Keeping your operating system and software updated, as well as the hardware is as latest as feasibly possible. Some software is no longer supported by its manufacturer, and some old versions of hardware cannot fully protect themselves against the latest breed of highly sophisticated cyber criminals. 

Secure your email

Today’s email traffic is reported to be only 50% legitimate, with the other half being spam and phishing attempts. This shows that your business could be under siege from attempts to get inside your business and rot it from the core. Cybercriminals use phishing attempts to bypass security protocols and get access to finances and crucial data. When you open an infected email, you can put ransomware on your computer that is permanently on your PC without your knowledge. 

You should make sure your employees do not use the business email when replying to these suspicious phishing attempts. All emails sent from the business should be vetted and made secure. 

Protect the network

Not all wifi networks are secure and safe. As a business, you should try and ensure your network is encrypted. Similar to passwords for other things in the business, you should regularly change your wifi network password to make it even harder for cybercriminals. 

Security in mobility

If you have to travel for business, your mobile phone and laptop should be completely up-to-date and secure for working on different public networks. The security methods on both devices should be adapted to higher levels of protection as well as training the employee on basic levels of online security. 

Pick secure web hosting

When you pick a website hosting platform for your business, make sure it is PCI compliant. This will protect your checkout, transactional, and storing process on the website against hackers. Free hosting can be a choice for a business trying to cut corners, but without an SSL certificate, you will not get an HTTPS, which says to the customer that you are taking extra precautions for your business.

Contractors, freelancers and locums could also seek out a specialist accountancy firm such as